Togetherness, Family & Love

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Merry Christmas! The Holiday season can bring some really mixed feelings for so many of us. Some holidays are filled with new beginnings and some tears or prayers unanswered or battles that need to be fought or loneliness or happiness. Fortunately, I am blessed to have a close knit family who is built with traditions, togetherness, strength, communication, hope and love. Earlier this year, I was planning to spend the holidays in Bali with one of my best friends —- now I can actually say that I’m glad that it didnt work out as nothing can ever replace being home with my family. Every year my family and I visit my relatives in the Bay Area and each year, we never fail to take Christmas very seriously, laugh, play and steal each other’s presents as we play “white elephant” and exchange gifts.

If you know me – you know for sure that I like to travel everywhere and have the need to explore; however, as I look back at my trips, my favorite ones are the ones that I get to spend some time and make new memories with the ones I love the most — my family and best friends. I take these special days to focus on the important things in life — and it’s not the presents that I receive or material things — it’s togetherness, family and love. It’s the light within us that shines brightly when we’re going through difficulties. Every tear, wait, confusion, “no”, breakdowns, setbacks and fear was worth every moment of every laughter, peace and contentment knowing that everything works our the way it’s suppose to. If you are where I was last year, I hope you can take comfort in knowing that every setback makes this moment now so much better whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I may not have all the answers now or not have everything together but I am content with knowing that if we just let go and let God or the universe (whatever you believe in) do all the work, everything will fall into place. May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; the spirit of Christmas which is peace; and the heart of Christmas which is love.

Wishing you a happy, merry, joyful Christmas from my imperfect family to yours! ❤

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Twenty Eight

Since it’s my birthday today, I decided to share twenty eight things I’ve learned in life and a little bit of things about me.

1. My first name is actually Christine. Joy is my middle name.

2. I have an online mermaid shop with my bestfriend yet I can’t swim.

3. I change my hair color every season or depending how I feel.

4. I knew I was going to be a fashion designer since I was a little kid.

5. Although, if I wasn’t going to pursue design – I wanted to be either an English teacher or an actress.

6. Freedom and honesty are very important to me. I like having lots of space and some alone time and I’d rather get hurt than being lied to.

7. I love dressing up, crafting and sewing.

8. I’m deathly scared of heights and get anxiety. I attempted to go rock climbing once – never again.

9. But I’ve gone sky diving and absolutely loved it.

10. I have a heart shaped scar on my ankle.

11. I’ve learned that life isn’t a race. Everyone has their own timing and everything works out the way it’s suppose to be.

12. I LOVE laughing, adventures, planning and having something to look forward to.

13. I plan my weekends three months ahead of time.

14. But I also like being spontaneous and doing things just because.

15. I hate it when people tell me what to do.

16. My dog Coco is my baby. I like to dress her up and bring her with me everywhere.

17. Family time is very important to me.

18. I have a tight group of friends who are my family and I believe in Drake’s “no new friends” motto.

19. I used to be more open on letting people in easily in my life but over the years, I’ve been burned and stabbed in the back many times that I’ve found out the ones that stayed through it all are the ones worth keeping and I’m content with that.

20. I’m a workaholic and I’m absolutely obsessed with coffee.

21. I like to do a lot of things at the same time until I physically can’t anymore like literally – sometimes I get sick from overbooking myself thinking I can do everything.

22. Heart break changes you. Once you go through it – you’ll never be the same person you were before. It may suck while you’re going through it, but I promise you’ll come out better, stronger and wiser if you allow yourself to heal.

23. Almost relationships are the worst. They break you in many ways you didn’t know possible. But because of them you learn to never settle for anything less than what you deserve.

24. I have six different kinds of laugh and say many random things. If you hang out with me long enough, I can guarantee you’ll start laughing like me and will start using my sayings.

25. I use traveling and doing photoshoots as my escape. I hate being at the same place for a long period of time and I have this constant need to see what else is out there and experience everything.

26. I get bored and get distracted easily – so you’ll always probably find me doing something new or trying another hobby.

27. I love hard and I’m learning to accept that it’s okay—- you fall for the wrong people and that’s part of life. Although, I’m also now learning to be smarter when it comes to love and make sure that the next person I fall for deserves the kind of love that I give.

28. Every time you feel like you’re at your lowest, confused or you just don’t know what to do or how to process things – take your time and slow down but don’t stay there —— Learn it from someone who likes to rush everything. Not everything needs to be fixed now or have all the answers to everything now. Ask yourself why a million times and seek the root of the issue- and once you understand it, you’ll know what to do.

I know this a bit different from my other blog posts but since it’s my 28 birthday today, I thought why not share a little bit of some personal experiences, mistakes and wisdom!

XOXO,

Joy

Wild wild wild thoughts

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Happy Friday!!!

I’m so stoked to announced that I finally got my first published fashion editorial. You can grab your own copy from http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1350711
This look and shoot is inspired by Rihanna’s music video “Wild Thoughts” One of my talented photographer friends, Star asked me to collab and at that time I was obsessed with this song and Rihanna’s outfits so I decided to make inspired looks from her video. Star is one amazing photographer, videographer and her other talent, baker! 😉 Follow her adventures and see her passionate work at https://www.instagram.com/starrchez/
What did you guys think of this look and this shoot?
As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been doing lots of shoots lately for the past few weeks, I’ve decided to take a break and realign my priorities. I think for the past few months, I’ve just been having so much fun shooting that I might’ve overlooked some of my adulthood responsibilities #sadness #adultingishard But with that said and done, I don’t want to give up something that I absolutely love and am very passionate about. I will still be making outfits, keep modeling and keep doing photo shoots; although, this time I would like them to be more like this shoot – themed and very centered and somehow find a way to balance my modeling life along with spending some time with my family, my friends, my dog baby, work, adventuring and traveling.
I hope you all have an amazing weekend and may you never stop dreaming and working for your dreams!
XOXO,
Joy

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It should be really obvious that I love dressing up… probably one of the reasons why October is my second favorite month and Halloween is my second favorite Holiday after December and Christmas.

As soon as October hits, I normally like to dress up and blog about different Halloween costumes. A lot of times people ask me why i like shooting, dressing up or making costumes.. Frankly, it makes me feel alive. I love that fantasy of it all and the creativity that’s put into it. I love that in that moment, I can be whoever I want, be in character and forget about everything around me for a quick second. I’ve also wanted to be an actress growing up, I’ve always loved expressing myself and my emotions and impersonating others —but since I decided to pursue design instead,  I guess when
i found my love for modeling and blogging – it made me realize it’s sorta like acting when you’re in character —- but in a sense shooting has also become like an escape and a hobby for me. I also love that I get to work with talented photographers and collaborate on creating something with them.
If you have no clue who I dressed up as, you have to go see Suicide Squad. It came out in the movies last year and the moment I saw Harley Quinn, I told myself that I want to dress up as her one of these days! I absolutely love that she’s crazy, exciting, colorful and a rebel. Therefore; i made a Harley Quinn inspired a two piece inspired outfit and played around with my hair and make up based on the movie. What do you guys think about this look? Do you know who you’re dressing up as for Halloween yet?
XOXO,
Joy

Dia De Los Muertos

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“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live.”- Norman Cousins

Are you afraid of death? I know it’s a touching subject and not everyone wants to talk about it.
Some people are. Some people arent. I’m surprisingly not as I’ve accepted it’s going to happen either way but I’m more afraid on how it’s going to happen. Is it going to hurt? Am I going to be surrounded by the people I love and care the most? Although. I dont really think about it much, I think about the life I have now and how much I want to live it before I run out of time.
Some of you may know that I grew up in the Philippines and I came here when I was 12 years old. We didn’t celebrate Halloween —maybe that’s one of the reasons why I love it sooo much because I was deprived of all the dressing up and free candies… and yes, I still trick or treat… (judge all you want) However, we have what we call “All Saints Day” which was normally celebrated on the eve of November 1st. My whole family and I would go to the cemetery and visit our loved ones who has passed and spend the night over there with candles and just relive the moments we had with our loved ones. I was still a child back then and didnt really know much why we do this —all i know is I get to go to the cemetery and play with my cousins and there’s pretty lit candles all around. Now that I’m an adult, I appreciate this practice more.
Now that I live here in Southern California, I learned about “The Day of the Dead” and there’s so much more about the pretty painted faces. I’ve learned that it comes from early cultures’ beliefs about death that later mixed with Christianity. It is based on the idea that the spirits return at that time of year. Customs around Halloween seem to stem from the idea that the spirits were malevolent (children were disguised so that they wouldn’t be harmed), whereas in Day of the Dead festivities, the spirits are joyfully welcomed as family members that one hasn’t seen in a year. So for this shoot, I made a black tight fitted dress with scallop edge hem as I thought it would go with the theme and I wanted it to be a bit more fashion forward. What do you guys think about this dress?
How do you celebrate Halloween? What do you think about these different practices around the world?
XOXO,
Joy

Pure Gold

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One of my favorite classes that I took at FIDM is draping. Most of the time when I create, I get inspired by the how the fabric feels, the colors, the texture and how it flows. Little did I know that this class would be so helpful now that I’m always running around doing photo shoots. When I havent gotten a chance to make an outfit, I tend to bring fabrics with me and end up just wrapping it around myself to make a dress.

For Labor Day Weekend, I went on a mini road trip with my friends to Arizona and Utah. One of the stops that we did was to see the Antelope Canyon. We signed up ahead of time to see it through  Chief Tsosie’s Upper Antelope Canyon Tour We had so much fun as the tour guides took us to the location as we rode a mini jeep. They helped us take the best pictures where you can see the light pass through the canyons. This has been on my bucket list and I was so excited to be able to see the canyons in real life. It was pure magic.
I will be doing more adventure blogs soon.
What do you guys think about these kind of posts?
XOXO,
Joy

Museum of Ice Cream

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The long wait is over as I finally got the chance to visit the Museum of Ice Cream!!! I love ice cream so much that I dressed up as one! Teehee. To everyone else that hasn’t gotten a chance to go yet, they just opened a new one in SF. You should definitely try to go! It’s probably the third happiest place on Earth in my books! The rules are pretty simple in this museum, you get a treat in every room you go into, you have loads of fun, you get to to dance around and sing a long with cool jams and you get to make new friends! They have the best employees. Everyone has a great personality and dances with you. We weren’t allowed to touch the hanging bananas and the black cones but other than that, you can pretty much touch everything. They also have a few cameras where you can take pics with your friends. My favorite room is probably the sprinkles pool – which is at the very end of the museum. I didn’t get to take a lot of photos as we didn’t have enough time. Also, when you go to each room – remember that you cannot go backwards so take your time!!! It’s a fun place to go on a date, go out with your friends or family or to be honest to go by yourself. I wish they sell more tickets because I’d definitely go again.

What do you guys think about my ice cream outfit? I pretty much wore a white tulle top and a brown fitted skirt for the cone and made a cherry headband.

XOXO,

Joy